December '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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64 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 SCREEN CLEANING and a non-caustic one-part choice. I often remind customers that the caustic product will thin and damage the threads of the mesh as it actually removes the surface of the threads. With any of these products, fol- low the directions according to the chemi- cal manufacturer and then finish with a low- and high-pressure rinse on both sides. The last of the typical four-step method is to "de-grease." Apply a soap/detergent- like product, and then use a clean brush to agitate both sides in a smooth, even man- ner. I suggest that you dedicate a brush for this and always keep this "clean brush" out of the sink to remain free of contaminates. In the typical workflow, you want to de-grease just before you place the screens into your filtered drying cabinet. If you know you will not use the screen immedi- ately, you may want to stop at step three, put the screen aside, and degrease just be- fore you dry. "DIP-TANK" SYSTEMS Outside of the traditional four-step meth- od, there are chemical systems available that, in effect, combine step one with step two and step three with step four. There are also large tanks where you im- merse the entire screen into the main chemi- cal, wait a few moments until you soften the emulsion just slightly, and then agitate with a brush, rinse, and pressure spray. If you clean "on-press" as described above, this type of system works quickly and very well. If you are a slob and tend to send lots of ink down the drain, plan on buying lots of chemicals. Not to mention, expect to pay the fines for sending that down into water treatment sys- tems, which can get quite steep. Screen reclaiming is a fairly straightfor- ward process, but one that has lasting ef- fects on the quality of your work. Follow these four steps and pay attention to the chemicals you use. This is your best chance at clean screens, which also means clean prints. Be sure to use some pressure when you work the final wipe up.

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